Redefining shopping for the age of the internet means transforming a functional activity into a thrilling experience. To meet the changing aspirations of consumers, shopping destinations now need to offer eating, entertainment, excitement, relaxation and more: the challenge is how to unify this offering. For our reworking of the Leidsenhage shopping centre in Leidschendam, our solution was inspired by a silk shawl, smoothly draped over the body like a second skin. Just as a shawl can pull an outfit together, our sleek design unifies formerly scattered buildings with its beautiful draped faĆ§ade.
Unibail Rodamco Westfield
Since retail is now an arena for experiences, rather than simple transactions, our scheme for Leidsenhage shopping centre is more of a landscape than a single building. The new development, provisionally called the Mall of the Netherlands, covers 200,000m2, including 40,000m2 of new constructions. Our design therefore focuses on giving a strong identity to the project as a whole, an identity able to embrace diversity (of places, activities and brands) and the fast-changing nature of retail today.
Our design for the faĆ§ade of the mall is as fluid as a silk shawl. Sinuous white curves flow horizontally around the glass-skinned structure, billowing upwards to sculpt the main entrance, then down to the ground to create a closed space or outwards to form a dramatic overhang. The softly curving, three-dimensional lines continue inside the building, uninterrupted by the extensive glazed faĆ§ade, stressing the continuity between inside and outside and unifying the various different spaces. In the closed areas of the faĆ§ade, wooden panelling and a green wall add organic touches that help to frame the views of the interior.
In order to create pauses in the continuous eight-loop navigation route, we created plenty of social spaces. The Central Plaza connects all the different wings of the mall in an overarching space. The Dining Plaza adds a āhospitality hotspotā on the first floor.
Throughout the complex, there are places to pause and chat or sit and watch the world go by. Outside too, there are outdoor plazas with trees and greenery ā reflected by the planted areas inside the mall and echoing the nearby park.
Commissioned by property developer Unibail-Rodamco, the mall is intended have national and even international appeal. Therefore the current name Leidsenhage will be changed to Mall of the Netherlands ā inspired by the Mall of Scandinavia in Stockholm and the Mall of Europe in Brussels. The new mall will accommodate 230 shops, including both international brands and local stores, with around 10% changing on a yearly basis to ensure a fresh feel. Extra attractions will include the Designer Gallery, an area for speciality and design goods, the Dining Plaza and the Fresh food court. Our design reflects this unique combination and gives the mall the iconic presence necessary to raise its profile in the Netherlands and beyond.